2021 February Newsletter: On Christian Hegemony

Dear People,

This issue addresses one root cause of the concentration of power, wealth and cultural dominance in our society–heterosexual, white male-controlled Christian hegemony. Christian hegemony is the everyday, pervasive, and systematic set of Christian values and beliefs, individuals and institutions that dominate all aspects of our society through the social, political, economic, and cultural power they wield. Nothing is unaffected by Christian hegemony (whether we are Christian or not) including our personal beliefs and values, our relationships to other people and to the natural environment, and our economic, political, education, health care, criminal/legal, housing, and other social systems. 74 million people voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 elections. They were overwhelmingly white Christians who identify at least loosely as Christian Nationalists. (They believe that “the United States is and ought to be a Christian nation governed under a reactionary understanding of Christian values.“) Trump voters weren’t only Christian nationalists. In 2020 a large number of white mainline Protestants (52%) also voted for him. They understood that Trump and Vice President Pence, a Christian fundamentalist, spent the last four years supporting policies that directly benefited White Christians. Some of these “accomplishments” included:

  • The appointment of over 234 federal judges, including three to the Supreme Court who  will affirm a white male Christian agenda in their decisions. Six of the nine Supreme Court justices are currently conservative Christians (and four are explicitly Christian Nationalists)
  • Passing legislation that enormously benefits Christian churches and denominations
  • Passing legislation that targets LGBTQ+ communities
  • Making it virtually impossible in many places to get an abortion, aiming at the complete elimination of the reproductive rights of women in our society
  • Targeting Muslims with a travel ban, immigration restrictions, war on predominantly Muslim countries and heightened Islamophobia domestically
  • Using ICE and other federal programs to target immigrants and refugees of color for discrimination, incarceration, family separation and violence
  • Supporting and encouraging white male Christian Nationalist militia groups to commit acts of terrorism against marginalized groups in the US including the targeting of Black, Indigenous and people of color, women, Muslims, Jews, immigrants of color, people who are queer and trans, and anyone who is defending their community against corporate exploitation, police violence, land theft, or attacks on civil and human rights.
As one report states, “Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the bulk of negative legislation sought by Christian nationalists, such as those behind Project Blitz, targets schools and youth.  Protection of youth from religion-based harm are areas of particular concern in 2021. Child marriage; female genital mutilation; sex education; medical neglect due to beliefs prescribing faith healing only; anti-LGBTQ+ conversion therapy; promotion of Christianity in public schools; and the lack of sensible regulation of homeschooling which allows physical and sexual abuse of children to proliferate along with educational neglect

should all singled out for attention.”
Read the full newsletter here.

 

Please send comments, feedback, resources, and suggestions for distribution to paul@paulkivel.com. Further resources are available at www.paulkivel.com.

All articles may be quoted, adapted, or reprinted only for noncommercial purposes and with an attribution to Paul Kivel, www.paulkivel.com. Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit here.

40